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Are vow renewals the wedding version of an "upgrade"?

Gypsy

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Inquiring minds what to know... =)
 

mayerling

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To me, they're more of a downgrade. Vow renewal just doesn't seem as a grand as a wedding.
 

mrswahs

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I think I agree with mayerling. Not as many people are going to get it up for a vow renewal because it's really not the same thing. I can't imagine attendance would compare, and it seems silly to go all out for it the same way you would a first wedding. Unless of course, it's for a milestone anniversary and not just 1 year, 5 year, etc. I think if my grandparents had one (50 years) it would be amazing and the sweetest thing ever. Or my parents (25 years, and they eloped when they got married... so I feel like they've earned it ;))
 

Jennifer W

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I think sometimes vow renewals are a hugely important and symbolic part of a marriage. When a couple has been through a very difficult time, or weathered some dreadful storm, it can mark the beginning of a new chapter, or a fundamental change in their marriage. It's neither a downgrade nor an upgrade on the original wedding, it is a life event in its own right for some people.

I know some PSers have renewed or planned to renew their vows in response to some very tragic life events, and I would think it compassionate to tread very gently in discussing this. ;))

edited for clarity.
 

zoebartlett

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I could see vow renewals going either way (as described above or more like an upgrade). I think I'm leaning toward upgrade though because they seem a bit more intimate. I don't have experience with vow renewals and I don't know anyone who has done one (that I know of anyway). The way I see it though is that the first time around, brides and maybe grooms really get into the details of planning. Choosing the *perfect* linens, chairs, centerpieces, etc. become the most important decisions to make. They get lost in the details of the reception to ensure that they throw an affair their guests will remember for years to come. This is assuming that a couple has a traditional wedding as opposed to eloping.

With a vow renewal though, it seems much more about the actual ceremony, and the focus is on the couple themselves. I always associate vow renewals with second honeymoons, where no one but the couple are in attendance. They may have a "been there done that" outlook towards their first wedding and now they're more focused on the meaning of the vows they say instead of hosting a party for guests. Of course this doesn't apply to all vow renewals but it's what I think of when I hear those words.

I hope my thoughts make sense. It's early and I'm afraid my words aren't coming out the way I'd like them to.
 

iheartscience

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No, I don't think so. There was a thread about vow renewals not too long ago, and the general consensus was that they're often a last ditch effort to save a marriage, particularly if you're a celeb. (A la John and Kate Plus 8 getting divorced right after their vow renewal.)

I've never known someone IRL who's done a vow renewal, and I do know non-PSers IRL who have upgraded.
 

missy

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I think the reason for a vow renewal is specific to each couple so it can be difficult to generalize. On all the reality shows the couples who do it seem to be doing it as for the reason Thing stated- as a desperate attempt to save their failing marriages.

The only people IRL that I know who have done a vow renewal are my parents and they did it on a cruise they took (the Captain of the ship performed the ceremony) and there were no friends or family there. They did it for themselves and it was an intimate and loving celebration of their marriage. I think it was done at their 25 year mark but cannot remember for sure- it was a long time ago. My parents have the best marriage that I know btw besides me and my dh that is. :cheeky:

I have wanted to do one also as an intimate loving ceremony celebrating sharing our lives together and the fact that I am more in love with my dh today than when I first married him (and vice versa!) which I am amazed is even possible as I was crazy in love with him all those years ago! So, for me, it is more about wanting to do it for the reason stated above. Because I am so madly and crazy in love with my dh and I want to express that in the most romantic way I know possible- in a vow renewal. Of course, it doesn't hurt that I also want to do it at the beach (in our beach home backyard) with the ocean waves in the background. ;))

I would only invite a few special people as I do want it to be an intimate affair. My parents, sister and her family, dh's family and a few closest friends. To answer the OP's question though I do not see it as an "upgrade" but as an ongoing expression of our love and commitment if that makes any sense.
 

Autumnovember

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I don't get the point of them, personally. I'm sure its really meaningful to the people that do them and I fully accept and respect that.
 

Amys Bling

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I dont think it's an upgrade.... and i typically see them as something small and intimate- only close family. I dont think the real purpose of a vow renewal is to outdo your original wedding but to at a very special point in your lives show your commitment.
 

Miss Sparkly

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We had eloped and for our one year anniversary we went all out. Dress, tux, flowers, photographer, nice dinner. The only catch was that it was still only the two of us. It was perfect.
 

decodelighted

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I think of "vow renewals" as "prelude to the divorce". :naughty: Or at least that's been my observation. Seems like the folks who are just going along, making it work -- don't even think of "renewing". The people who do (IMHO) are ones who've had some kind of huge stumbling block and want to *regroup*. And where there's weakness -- well ... do the math.
 

yssie

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Sparkly Blonde|1317394852|3029682 said:
We had eloped and for our one year anniversary we went all out. Dress, tux, flowers, photographer, nice dinner. The only catch was that it was still only the two of us. It was perfect.

Love this, Sparkly :appl:
 

swingirl

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decodelighted|1317397441|3029724 said:
I think of "vow renewals" as "prelude to the divorce". :naughty: Or at least that's been my observation. Seems like the folks who are just going along, making it work -- don't even think of "renewing". The people who do (IMHO) are ones who've had some kind of huge stumbling block and want to *regroup*. And where there's weakness -- well ... do the math.
I agree. My 29 year old vows are still good. I can't imagine why I would need to renewed them because they never got old. Now my ring, on the other hand, got bent/broken and needed replacing. I don't personally know anyone who has renewed their vows but the famous ones that stick in my mind are Jon and Kate's in Hawaii. (John and Kate plus 8)
 

Laila619

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Autumnovember|1317392820|3029663 said:
I don't get the point of them, personally. I'm sure its really meaningful to the people that do them and I fully accept and respect that.
Ditto. If others want to do them, cool. My vows never expire, so they don't need 'renewing.' ;-)
 

PinkTower

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Mar 15, 2009
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So true, Rita and all who said the vows last a lifetime. I've never been to one; are they private? All I can think of on the positive side would be if a couple had been at the brink of a divorce. One thing for sure, I cannot imagine talking my husband into that.
 

jstarfireb

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I like the idea of vow renewals as a wedding do-over if you didn't really get the wedding you wanted originally. I'd love to have a vow renewal on a beach with a simple, sleek dress, because the location and the dress were what I really didn't like about my wedding.

The other way I like them used is as a way to celebrate a major anniversary (25th, 30th, etc.).

I don't like the fact that couples (including some aforementioned celebrities) are using it as a last-ditch attempt to save a failing wedding. Because when they get divorced a few months later, it kind of cheapens the meaning of the vows.
 

Haven

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Hey, I love any excuse to celebrate in this life, so I'm all for vow renewals.
I don't know why people choose to do them, but if they're people that I love, and I'm invited, I'll support them. And I'll even bring a gift.

Life is short, and it's often riddled with hardships. I appreciate any and all opportunities for a little bit of added joy.
 

rockzilla

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The only vow renewal I've ever been to was my husband's aunt and uncle (great aunt/uncle?) and it was a surprise for their 50th anniversary. My husband's parents planned the whole thing, invited everyone (including the original bridesmaids & groomsmen!) and had the bakers make a replica of their original cake. It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen, and I can't imagine how special it would be if my husband and I were surprised by that someday.

I actually ran into a friend of mine a few weeks back at a wedding, and she asked if we were planning/excited about having a vow renewal. I was like...ummm, its only been 2 years. She's been married ~4 years, but they had a really small ceremony in Hawaii and had planned to have a bigger "reception" party back in California afterwards. As it turned out, baby #1 arrived about 9 months after the Hawaii ceremony, and that second reception never happened, so I can understand a bit why they are leaning towards vow renewal. In this case, it would be an "upgrade" in terms of number of guests, most likely.
 

slg47

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I think of upgrades as bigger/larger rings and vow renewals as more quiet/intimate ceremonies. If a couple wants to re-affirm their vows I see no reason why they should not do so!
 

MonkeyPie

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My parents and grandparents had a double vow renewal. My parents 25 years, my grandparents 50. It was so much fun, and it got a lot of family together that otherwise wouldn't have done so.

I plan to have a vow renewal next year for our 5 year anniversary. When we got married, it was at the courthouse and it was nothing that I wanted because we were poor kids. We are still poor kids, but we like the idea of doing something fun just for us that is about our marriage and our relationship. I don't know if anyone will even be invited - we may do it by ourselves.

Assuming (even IYHO) that people that renew do it because their marriage is on the rocks is rather rude, tbh.
 

Maisie

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decodelighted|1317397441|3029724 said:
I think of "vow renewals" as "prelude to the divorce". :naughty: Or at least that's been my observation. Seems like the folks who are just going along, making it work -- don't even think of "renewing". The people who do (IMHO) are ones who've had some kind of huge stumbling block and want to *regroup*. And where there's weakness -- well ... do the math.
I'm going to agree with Deco here. :loopy: My husband and I were planning to renew our vows a few years back. We were on the brink of divorce and it was a last ditch attempt to plaster over the cracks. Except they weren't cracks. They were gaping big holes. No amount of 'wedding' planning or jewellery was going to fix the problems.

In the end we took time apart, then got together again and worked out our issues. It took time and was really hard at times. But we persevered and worked together to bring our marriage back to a place where we are now both genuinely happy.

Funny thing is, we don't want to (or feel the need to) renew our vows now.

I'm not criticising anyone else who wants to do this though. Each to their own. :)
 

pixies

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Jun 10, 2010
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I never had a ceremony so I'd love to do a vow renewal eventually, perhaps on our fifth anniversary.

There are various reasons people may choose to renew vows. Some may have not had a ceremony or were unable to celebrate with family, some may do it to mark a big anniversary, etc. Of course, there are some that may use it as a band-aid to a failing relationship but I don't think it's any reason to make a blanket statement against them (vow renewals) in general (in regards to the prelude to divorce comments).
 

LGK

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After my MIL got remarried maybe... 5 years ago? She was all over me and DH to do a vow renewal ceremony like a big wedding. (We did an incredibly low key small backyard wedding in 2001). Didn't do it. Had the wedding I wanted the first time, didn't want a do over, especially not a big to-do of one. (MIL is, of course, insane though.)
 

packrat

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I'd love to renew our vows and have a party. No, vows don't expire, but I think after being together as a couple for many years, sometimes you kind of slip into..we're married, got a house, couple vehicles, maybe some kids, we work, whatever..and everyone goes about their lives. I think it's a nice way to put the focus back on you as a couple..you're not just Mr and Mrs Jones, you're Mike and Amy Jones. If there are kids, I think it's a nice time to include them-they are a part of it too. To me it's like a celebration of who you are as a family and where you are in your lives. Maybe if people celebrated their marriages a little more and paid more attention to being married and the joy it's supposed to bring to our lives instead of waiting until the last minute to appreciate what we have, we wouldn't be so jaded about it. I think it's a bigger deal to be married 10/20/30 etc years than it is to get married in the first place-that's the easy peasy lemon squeezy part about it. I've spent 10 years picking up dirty socks and "finding" things that aren't lost b/c *some*body doesn't know how to look for things, by golly if I want a new dress and a cool song and a cake, I'm having it.
 

FrekeChild

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packrat|1317426958|3030160 said:
I'd love to renew our vows and have a party. No, vows don't expire, but I think after being together as a couple for many years, sometimes you kind of slip into..we're married, got a house, couple vehicles, maybe some kids, we work, whatever..and everyone goes about their lives. I think it's a nice way to put the focus back on you as a couple..you're not just Mr and Mrs Jones, you're Mike and Amy Jones. If there are kids, I think it's a nice time to include them-they are a part of it too. To me it's like a celebration of who you are as a family and where you are in your lives. Maybe if people celebrated their marriages a little more and paid more attention to being married and the joy it's supposed to bring to our lives instead of waiting until the last minute to appreciate what we have, we wouldn't be so jaded about it. I think it's a bigger deal to be married 10/20/30 etc years than it is to get married in the first place-that's the easy peasy lemon squeezy part about it. I've spent 10 years picking up dirty socks and "finding" things that aren't lost b/c *some*body doesn't know how to look for things, by golly if I want a new dress and a cool song and a cake, I'm having it.
Love this.
 

Hera

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FrekeChild|1317443585|3030362 said:
packrat|1317426958|3030160 said:
I'd love to renew our vows and have a party. No, vows don't expire, but I think after being together as a couple for many years, sometimes you kind of slip into..we're married, got a house, couple vehicles, maybe some kids, we work, whatever..and everyone goes about their lives. I think it's a nice way to put the focus back on you as a couple..you're not just Mr and Mrs Jones, you're Mike and Amy Jones. If there are kids, I think it's a nice time to include them-they are a part of it too. To me it's like a celebration of who you are as a family and where you are in your lives. Maybe if people celebrated their marriages a little more and paid more attention to being married and the joy it's supposed to bring to our lives instead of waiting until the last minute to appreciate what we have, we wouldn't be so jaded about it. I think it's a bigger deal to be married 10/20/30 etc years than it is to get married in the first place-that's the easy peasy lemon squeezy part about it. I've spent 10 years picking up dirty socks and "finding" things that aren't lost b/c *some*body doesn't know how to look for things, by golly if I want a new dress and a cool song and a cake, I'm having it.
Love this.
Me too.

I would love the opportunity to have a renewal and have it just be the two of us. When I made my vows the first time, I didn't know what they REALLY meant. Today, I would love to say the words to him with the full gravity of their meaning.
 

Imdanny

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packrat|1317426958|3030160 said:
I'd love to renew our vows and have a party. No, vows don't expire, but I think after being together as a couple for many years, sometimes you kind of slip into..we're married, got a house, couple vehicles, maybe some kids, we work, whatever..and everyone goes about their lives. I think it's a nice way to put the focus back on you as a couple..you're not just Mr and Mrs Jones, you're Mike and Amy Jones. If there are kids, I think it's a nice time to include them-they are a part of it too. To me it's like a celebration of who you are as a family and where you are in your lives. Maybe if people celebrated their marriages a little more and paid more attention to being married and the joy it's supposed to bring to our lives instead of waiting until the last minute to appreciate what we have, we wouldn't be so jaded about it. I think it's a bigger deal to be married 10/20/30 etc years than it is to get married in the first place-that's the easy peasy lemon squeezy part about it. I've spent 10 years picking up dirty socks and "finding" things that aren't lost b/c *some*body doesn't know how to look for things, by golly if I want a new dress and a cool song and a cake, I'm having it.
Good for you.

You've won me over to the idea. It sounds wonderful.
 

rosetta

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I'd feel silly making vows that I'd made once, and that are still as valid x number of years later. That's just my personal opinion. It's not for me.

But I see no reason not to have a kick ass anniversary party.

I'm having my final wedding reception on my aunts 25th wedding anniversary. We are going all out. Guest list has hit 500 and there will be all night partying. I'm dying my wedding dress electric blue and plan to dance till I drop. :cheeky:

I agree with haven: take every opportunity to make a day stand out more than just another ordinary day. I'm all for it.
 

wakingdreams53

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Didn't read all of the replies, but sometimes the wedding you have isn't what youwanted in the first place.
For example, my incredibly young friend got married last year. Husband is in the navy and in order to live together/get military housing.
Their wedding was purely civil with one witness. No party, no nothing.
They'd like a "real wedding" i.e., vow renewal, once funds are set. Do the whole shebang.

In a case such as that, where the original was done quickly,the vow renewal is a way to share what was lost in the same air as a "real wedding." So yeah, in that sense, it's an upgrade. I can't understand why anyone else would have it.
 
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